August 9, 1996 0 By Fans
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Jeffrey Wright stars as Jean Michel BasquiatBischofberger & WarholBasquiat, Warhol, Milo & BischofbergerGary Oldman co-stars as Albert MiloBasquiat with Andy WarholChristopher Walken as the interviewer


Basquiat tells the story of the meteoric rise of youthful artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Starting out as a street artist…

Release Year: 1996

Rating: 6.8/10 (9,631 voted)

Critic's Score: 65/100

Julian Schnabel

Stars: Jeffrey Wright, Michael Wincott, Benicio Del Toro

Basquiat tells the story of the meteoric rise of youthful artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Starting out as a street artist, living in Thompkins Square Park in a cardboard box, Jean-Michel is "discovered" by Andy Warhol's art world and becomes a star. But success has a high price, and Basquiat pays with friendship, love, and eventually, his life.

Writers: Lech Majewski, John Bowe


Jeffrey Wright

Jean Michel Basquiat

Michael Wincott

Rene Ricard

Benicio Del Toro

Benny Dalmau

Claire Forlani

Gina Cardinale

David Bowie

Andy Warhol

Dennis Hopper

Bruno Bischofberger

Gary Oldman

Albert Milo

Christopher Walken

The Interviewer

Willem Dafoe

The Electrician

Jean-Claude La Marre


(as Jean Claude LaMarre)

Parker Posey

Mary Boone

Elina Löwensohn

Annina Nosei

Paul Bartel

Henry Geldzahler

Courtney Love

Big Pink

Tatum O'Neal

Cynthia Kruger

In 1981, A Nineteen-Year-Old Unknown Graffiti Writer Took The New York Art World By Storm. The Rest Is Art History.

Release Date: 9 August 1996

Filming Locations: New York, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $3,300,000


Opening Weekend: $83,863
(11 August 1996)
(6 Screens)

Gross: $2,961,991
(24 November 1996)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


The estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat refused to allow his works to be used, so the director, Julian Schnabel, personally painted the reproductions which are used throughout the film.


In the first scene where Basquiat does graffiti, there is a "Sane" tag next to him that reads "SANE 95'" when the movie is supposed to be set in the early '80s.


[first lines]

Everybody wants to get on the Van Gogh boat. There's no trip so horrible that someone won't take it. The idea of the unrecognized genius slaving away in a garot is deliciously foolish one. We must credit the life of Vincent Van Gogh for really sending this myth into orbit…

User Review

Basquiat – an inspiration.

Rating: 9/10

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie 'Basquiat'. It is a subtle portrayal of a
complex character, beautifully acted by Jeffrey Wright. It would have been
easy for the film-makers to go over board with this movie. Basquiat sure
have the character to allow that. And the fact they didn't feel the need
do that, is why I like this movie so much. It'd been easy to concentrate
more on the drug taking, on his immense paranoia, and on his lively
lifestyle that went beyond Andy Warhol and Madonna. And doing that would
have probably got the movie more hype, attention and plaudits. Instead the
makers of this movie just give glimpses of his life and merely suggest a
whole lot more, and this works well. It's a movie that goes along more at
stroll than a run, and grows in stature and depth as it does so.

But, the 'problem' if you can call it that, with 'Basquiat' is that you
to know this man's art, and this man's character to really enjoy and
appreciate this movie. And that's why I think it maybe doesn't get the
sympathetic reviews or attention it deserves. If you didn't know about
man's life before seeing the movie, then I don't know what you could take
from the film. And if you watch it without knowing about him and his art,
then I can imagine it wouldn't really hit the mark.

What makes this movie beautiful in it's subtlety is that it does great
justice to the wonderful talent and nature of Jean Michel Basquiat. And if
you love his art, then do watch this movie, it's well worth it.